Lots of unexpected creatures have been found in New York City's Central Park—alligators, snapping turtles, koi carp, and even pet pigs on leashes. But the 3-foot black bear cub found dead near 69th Street yesterday is among the least expected, so rare that the most recent sighting people can recall reading about is the shooting of a wild bear in 1630. Police on the scene said the bear, partially concealed by a bush and abandoned bicycle, appears to have been dragged to its location, indicating foul play, reports the New York Times. "This is a highly unusual situation," says a rep for the Central Park Conservancy. "It’s awful."
The bear bore signs of trauma, and police sent her to the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s wildlife pathology unit near Albany to determine the exact cause of death. A team from the Bronx Zoo will also perform an autopsy, adds Business Insider. There are currently no bears in the Central Park Zoo, and it is illegal to keep them as pets in the state of New York. (On a lighter note, rangers in Alaska say they have spotted a rarity: adoption in the wild, with a mother brown bear caring for an abandoned cub.)